PBA Spotlight: J.W. Krantz, Central Power Plant

Release Date: 

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the Central Power Plant. Join us for a celebration and Sustainability Block Party on Tuesday, July 29 from 11 am – 3 pm. Get a behind-the-scenes tour and learn how it operates! This University owned and operated plant provides 80% of central campus’ energy, including steam, electricity, compressed air, and hot water.

Central Power Plant 100 Yr Celebration

The Central Power Plant (CPP) is a combined cycle heating and co-generation plant that runs off of natural gas. Translation? It is an extremely efficient fossil-fuel power plant. The CPP prevents the equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions from 18,000 homes compared to the coal generating plants most of Ann Arbor gets their electricity from. In 2002 and in 2013 the plant won awards from the EPA for efficiency. Although U-M doesn’t operate any renewable energy sources directly yet, the staff at Plant are constantly evaluating and assessing current technologies to see what would be most feasible to bring to campus as we work towards our 2025 greenhouse gas reduction goal.

Central Power Plant

We spoke to J.W. Krantz, Interim Associate Director of Utilities & Plant Engineering. He is leading the Central Power Plant’s 100-year celebration and has been involved in energy efficiency measures at U-M for sixteen years. When speaking of why he is excited to invite campus to see the Central Power Plant for its 100th anniversary Krantz said, “The Power plant helps individuals see how their actions (energy use) affect our impact and our bottom line.”

“Plant engineers have always been involved with energy efficiency, formalizing their efforts in 1997 under the Energy Star Program,” stated Krantz. Most recently, many of you probably remember plant’s Planet Blue Operation Teams’ Open Houses. Plant broadened their sustainability efforts and invited other departments to join them under those open houses, and the joint effort evolved into the University-wide Planet Blue initiative you know today.

Energy efficiency is important to the University not only because of our sustainability goals, but it supports our mission. “With lower costs,” states Krantz, “more money can go to the students and our academic work.”

When asked what piece of advice he would give others looking to increase their energy efficiency Krantz replied, “Think about what you are doing. Have a line of sight. How are your actions impacting the University?” Come learn about how your energy use is having an impact by attending the Central Power Plant 100 Year Anniversary Celebration on July 29!